"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful

Friday, February 26, 2010


I have been dying to spill the beans.

We were told we were picked by a birth mom on Monday. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!

We simply didn't think this could be real, so we waited until today when I met C to let the cat out of the bag.

As you know, we choose open adoptions, so C wanted to meet us before the baby was born. Of course, we were so excited at this opportunity. It worked out best for C's schedule to meet today at 11 at the agency. So my Blaker did not get to come, but it was great anyway! My precious MIL came to stay with the kids while I nervously made my way across town.

These meetings are truly incredible. What do you say to a mama who has chosen life and family for her child? How in the world do you thank her? I want to memorize her every word, facial expression, gesture, and giggle. What I wouldn't give to get this on video tape. So we sat for almost 2 hours and just got to know each other. I like to find out their favorites, so that day to day, I can share these tidbits with the kids. It's so cool to know what kind of things they like and dislike and then to see those show up in the kiddos. We discussed names, and the hospital plan and dreams for her child.

I wanted to bull doze her with a bear hug, but thought it might not be best seeing she's 39 weeks preggers! That's right folks...next week!!! She is PRECIOUS and has a heart of gold. And in this moment, as excited as I am, my heart breaks for her as I watched her slowly begin to grieve what she was losing and I was gaining. Such a bittersweet moment. It was as if in meeting me she knew this was a sweet beginning, but also a horrible end at the same time.

Please pray for C. These next weeks will be simply unbearable. As we clearly know, things could change in a heartbeat. But we also know that our God is faithful, and we know that if we were in C's shoes, we're not sure we could place either. She has such love for her baby. And she is choosing what's best for the child, not for herself.

Oh, and if you have any GIRL names...send 'em my way!!! That's right, we are getting another SISTER!!! And I know you are dying to know...yes, she is brown!!! Yummers!

The girls will be sharing a room! How fun will this be? I am so excited for Sadie to have a sister, even though the boys have been asking for one more than she has! Love you all and thanks for celebrating with us!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And...we're finished!

** Sadie helping fill out the application for her baby. I had to paint over the picture when I realized it wasn't something I wanted post on the Internet!!!**

Let the waiting begin.

We did our home study on Monday and I have to say it was the most fun yet. The agency has been crazy busy, so the director was the one who came out. She is so easy to talk to and she was the very first person who interviewed Blake and I almost 5 years ago when we started with Owen! What a wonderful support we have in her...she has taught us so much!
Our interviews are also complete and I took Sis in this morning so that they could fill out her paperwork. Your pediatrician has to sign off that the kids are taken care of health wise and brought in regularly and all. Good idea I think! If you can't take care of what you have, you should not have more!
So at nearly 18 months (eek, I can't believe our baby is 1.5 next week!!!) Sadie weighs in at a whopping 21.5 lbs (15th percentile)! And get this, she's 32 inches long (75th percentile)! What I wouldn't give for that body! How sad!!! Even though she's not really talking much, he assured me she is on track and "talking" we just don't understand it. The crazy thing is that at this age the boys were singing songs and having conversations with me, so I am a bit off on my ideas of what's normal. We hadn't been there for 5 minutes and he asked me if she was bossy! I laughed out loud! This guy is good and hit the nail on the head just by listening to her "talk".
I wish I could lick the icing for the cinnamon rolls and still be a stick!!!!
For those of you not familiar with domestic adoption, from here the agency shows our profile or Life book to those birth moms that fit our openness. Meaning, those that fit what child we are open to: race, open adoption, etc. Once she finds a family for her child, she lets the agency know and then they make "the call". The fact that the birth mom picks her family makes it a somewhat open adoption: she knows first names and some info about the adoptive family. From there it can be semi-open or fully open. Rarely, but sometimes a birth mom chooses to have a closed adoption and chooses not to meet the adoptive family. Our agency encourages (and so do we) semi-open or open adoptions for the health of everyone involved in the journey.
Going through this process again brings up so many wonderful memories of our journeys before. As we know that being picked does not assure us that child, we also know that God has carried us through it before...and He will again. He is faithful. We think about the baby we lost before Sadie and we know full well, had we taken her home, we would not have our Sadie bug! Whoa!

I feel like I never give updates on this guy. Oh how he melts my heart! This is an older picture, but so Owen!!! Today at Sadie's Dr.'s appt, the first thing he asked the nurse was if she was going to get a shot. When she kindly told him yes, he begged her not to do it. Then he begged the same of the Dr. After the Dr. left he tried to get us out of the room before the nurse returned. When I told him that Sadie would be fine and that she would only cry for a bit, he then hid in the corner so that he didn't have to watch her in pain. When the nurse returned, he jumped on the table with Sadie and got in her face telling her it would be okay. Then as she got her second shot he just started kissing her head and told her how brave she was. This is just one of the many examples of his kind and sensitive heart. He is so stinking thoughtful and sweet as could be! He is SO super excited about another baby!!! He often tells me how he thinks we should have 6!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010


So this is something we never really do. We "tumble" at the science museum, but we just really don't take the kids to gymnastics often. My neice had her 3rd birthday party and not only had us to "nastics" but let Sadie use her leotard (is that what this is called?)

The boys loved it! Especially the foam pit! It was so good to see our Tulsa family if only for a short while.

I must say that Sadie looks so cute in this. Good thing she got my legs, huh? Just kidding, she got the legs I always dreamed of having!!!
She has some serious upper arm strength. Or maybe it's just that she's a string bean and not heavy!
For real? How blessed am I to get to stare at that face all day!?!?!

Papa working on bars with Owen.

She looks a bit concerned. I love her facial expressions. She's such a princess, I tell you what!


Kristy had some great questions about domestic agency adoption. She asked about some of the things I get asked all of the time: "So are you asking for a girl?"
Simple answer, nope! Our agency believes that just as when you carry a child, you can't choose sex, they do the same in adoption. You can put things like what ethnicity you are open to, or a child with drug/alcohol exposures, a child conceived in rape, etc.
It takes a lot of prayers to answer this sheet, but I have told many people that this sheet gives us the feel that we have some control over our adoption and our children when we really have none. When will we learn that?
Kristin, your comment was awesome and I can't say that I am perfect at waiting, but one thing that helps is to focus on something else. M sister and I during the last two adoptions have set our minds to training for runs/races. We don't really run, its more like scooting, but regardless we train for it and it's a wonderful distraction. I also try and remind myself each time I am down to pray for our birth mom and think of her situation. Reading adoption and parenting books is always a good distraction as well as catching up on albums and doing projects around the house. I also like getting our gift basket together for the hospital for the birth mom!!! Hope these ideas help. Pray, pray, pray!!! Chosen, our adoption ministry is going to form a "Waiting Families" small group that meets regularly! Isn't that a wonderful idea? You could search for one locally.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Motherhood: No Stretch Marks Required

I love this. Have you all seen the shirts for Adoption Bug that say this? Hilarious!

Or how about this one: So far no morning sickness, but the papercuts are terrible! I want one of these shirts!!!

So just wanted to update all on the adoption front.
We are officially finished with the paperwork!!! Wahoo! Now we just have to update our homestudy and do a couple of interviews and we are good to go!

And by "good to go" I mean, sit back and wait. It could be a ridiculously long wait, or it could be any day. I try and not jump everytime the phone rings, but seeing how Sadie made her debut...this momma gets a bit jumpy!!!

This is the fun part where you just watch God work his magic.

And for some adorable pictures of the kids...these are from Valentine's Weekend. We had so much fun baking and decorating cookies.
Can you tell how much fun we had with all of the flour on Owen???

That's right...Cooper doesn't have pants on. Better watch out when you eat at our house!

We had a little too much fun with the flour.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Special Dates

Ice cream at McDonald's!!!!! Such a treat!
This girl loves her some sweets!!!
Last week we got to see Momma G and Momma Mandy. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to see both of them in the same day!

What's even cooler is the way our visits came about, and how incredible these mothers are to open their lives up to us. I saw on TV just this week where a birth mom asked her adult child that she had placed years before, to keep the adoption a secret until she could figure out how to tell her family. While I can completely (try to) understand how hard it must be to be open about something like placement, I have to be honest that I was completely devastated for that "child". On the day he finally found his first mother, he was again rejected by her. So hard. Again, I am not trying to undermine what birth moms go through, just so thankful our situations are different!

One thing that many people don't understand about adoption is how a person will forever feel strong connection for their birth family. Most (not all) yearn for a relationship with their birth family. Most people think that if a child is in a healthy, loving family, that they will never want to know more about their birth family and never feel the need for connection to them. That breaks my heart!!! But if you ask children how often they think about their birth family, it's daily.

So, you can see why I LOVE having relationships with these two. I think it helps our children to understand how loved they are to have two families. Not that they won't grieve their adoption as they grow up and understand it more, but I pray that already having that relationship in place will help.
On Tuesday we had arranged to have a date with Sadie's birth mom. As we were leaving Cooper piped up from the back that he wanted to "smoosh Mandy". I couldn't quite understand what he was trying to say, so it took us a minute to figure out that he wanted to love on his Mandy. Oh man...so sweet! Then Owen said, "Mom, you forgot to call my birth mom!" The truth is that I didn't, but was going to set that up another day. But I immediately texted her and told her what the boys had said. She was so cute and asked us to come by her work and give her some loving!!!

We only stayed for a couple minutes before the boys went bonkers! But it was incredible to feel such pride coming from her. It is SO obvious how proud she is of her decision, how much she loves all of us and wants us to be a part of her life.

So while I don't have pictures of their special time together, I did take some when we went to play at McDonald's. And I know you just really want to see my cute kids anyways!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back to new!

So, we've been home for a couple of days and are getting back on schedule.

I've so enjoyed trying out the "5 Love Languages" on the kids, and whoa. This is AWESOME! We are not back to "normal" but have a new style at home! Even discipline can be wonderful!

There are so many things that I've learned that are easy to do, I was just rushing myself through discipline and not planning it out and therefore making some rather big mistakes.

For example, my Owen loves quality time (what child doesn't?), so he asks for it lots. As you can imagine there are times he misbehaves because he is needing my attention, and when I discipline him for his poor choice, I put him in time out in his room. This devastates him and is not necessary for the "crime". For him, a simple positive guidance (kindly reminding him of the rules) would work and maybe some thinking time in a chair (but not isolation). It's simple stuff, and makes lots of sense, and it's made a world of difference!!!

Our little Sadie bug gets OH-SO annoyed being in her car seat. She can't even last 15 minutes anymore. I have come to find that it might just be she loves physical touch. She wants to be in my lap! So when she starts her hollering in the car, I've started just touching her leg or holding her hand. Yes, this is a bit of a challenge in the car, but it's TONS better than hearing loss! And I am telling you that nothing else has worked!

One thing the book is quick to point out is that all children need all 5 types of love, but typically one speaks louder to them at different points in their life. I am just sad I didn't read this earlier!

So I found my cord to the camera and downloaded our pics. I found this city to be so relaxing. Blake and I could not be more blessed than to have been given the opportunity to go! He is now officially finished with interviews and we can't wait to see where God takes us next year! We will be truly blessed to be at any of these programs.

I am not sure how anyone could not believe in God when seeing this!!!

It was beautiful weather this day, nearly 50 degrees while we were walking on the snow covered beach!

A guy offered to take a picture of us! How cool! Poor Blake had to put up with all of my pictures since the kids weren't there!
Taken by the timer! These rocks were incredible. We drove to this area and climbed and walked a bit to get closer to the water.
Then its started snowing! It could not have been any more perfect!
Can you see the water back through the trees?

Another one by the timer! Sorry again Blake!

I have to get running! We went on a play date this morning with some good friends, and this afternoon are meeting Momma G (Sadie's birth mom) for a date! We haven't seen her in so long and are so excited to squeeze on her!
Adoption update: we now have our background checks, abuse and neglect checks running (our fingerprints are still good for another 4 years) and our pastor letter of reference in. We are waiting to receive our second application forms in the mail!

Friday, February 5, 2010

So Thankful!

So Blake is finishing up his interviews (thank you Lord!) and he asked me to join him on this last one.
We've not taken a vacation alone in almost 4 years, so we desperately needed the time together!

And, it was a rather cheap choice since he already had to fly, get a car and a room. So early Thursday morning we flew to Reno then drove to Lake Tahoe!
Oh my goodness, it's incredibly beautiful here! I can't imagine getting to live here for a year. A gorgeous lake on one side, and enormous mountains on the other (with casinos in between). What a fun town!
So I loaded my suitcase with books to read on the trip and have so enjoyed my first: The 5 Love Languages of Children by Chapman and Campbell. As I am reading I am just heartbroken. I don't blog about discipline, punishment and misbehavior often, because I don't want to focus on it. There are so many wonderful things to talk about with our kids: why even focus on the other, right?
Well, this book has opened my eyes to so much that I am doing wrong and given me such hope with things that I can do to help our kids feel so much more love in the midst of misbehavior. Don't get me wrong, we are not screamers around here, our home is full of love. Of course, we think our kids are angels, but they do at time make poor choices (shocker, I know!). And I do struggle with behavior modification and punishment. So this was such a great book for us right now. I also plan to re-read one of my favorites Love and Logic, because I think they work well together.

So many times I see that parents don't enjoy their kids and don't love parenting. It's almost seen as a nuisance when the kids hit "terrible two's" and "horrible 3's" and honestly that just breaks my heart. I don't want our kids to ever think that I see them as "terrible", or question that they are "horrible", or that I get annoyed with them. How awful for a child to think their parent feels that way about them? But it happens so often and it just kills me to hear those words.
This book has opened my eyes to so much of what I was doing in not understanding their love language, and therefore possibly using that language against them in punishment. So, if any of you need a good read out there, this one could not be read soon enough!
Can't wait to share pics of Lake Tahoe but I didn't bring my cable to upload them!

These are a little old, but I am not sure I ever shared them...our Christmas picture from this year!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Be Still My Heart!

Seriously Owen, please stop growing! You are getting way too tall and this momma can't take it!

I get to hang out with these guys all day long and they make me giggle!

What a life!

I love how they want to be like their daddy! Cooper got his surgeon gear for his birthday.

Promptly returning his pages. Too cute!

Monday, February 1, 2010

We are HOME!

Oh mercy!!! Look at all of that behind them!!!
We made it from Aspen to Denver to pick up Blake, but were there 2 hours early! Oh no!!! The kids did great, but I was chasing Sadie all over that place!

Sadie "helping" me pack. She's such a climber right now!

I would have never guessed that my precious daughter would be the first to have a bloody nose!
My pumpkin helping mommy with the dishes. I didn't even ask and he was cleaning for me. He said it was so that I didn't have to do them when they went to sleep.

We made it home yesterday afternoon!

It feels so good to sleep in our own bed...I seriously had a hard time getting out of bed this morning! All of the sudden our house seems HUGE! Nothing will make you more thankful for what you have than having to be without for a bit. And, to some degree...I have realized that I have more than I need.

Perhaps this is me nesting, or it's me coming back from Aspen knowing I have stuff that I can get rid of. I also can't shake what's going on in Haiti. We have so much to be thankful for, and so much more that we can give!

Speaking of nesting...I want to blog a bit more this time about our adoption process. We've never done that before. I didn't blog before the boys. And with Sadie's adoption we wanted to surprise everyone, so we kept it on the down low as we were applying. Because I have heard from some of you that you are interested in adoption, I thought I might break down some of the overwhelming parts of this.
Right now, we've let our agency know that we are ready to go. I've printed the initial application and we're almost finished with it. From there, they will let us know what we need (background checks, references, urine samples...just kidding, wanted to see if you were paying attention). The process is quite a bit simplified when you've used the same agency before.

This time we've never been more strapped financially. But Blake and I will say it again and again, that God has provided for our adoptions each and everytime. So we are going to trust in Him that if it's His will, then He will provide. But we are also going to seek support from Lifesong. Has anyone used them before? We are excited about their services that they offer families in financing adoptions. We'll let you know how it goes. You have to have your homestudy done before you can apply through them, so it will be a bit before we can start that.

I've heard a statistic that 86% of couples seeking adoption decide not to because of money. That breaks my heart for many reasons, but mostly because adopting through "the state" is essentially free. But also because when we turn away from God's call of adoption because of money we are saying that God isn't bigger than money. You have to do your research, be a good steward of your money, but also trust God with it!!!
That's all for now. Oh, and thanks to all of you that post encouraging and truthful comments on the last post. My heart was broken and your words set me free from believing that's what I was doing! Love you all dearly!